Rhetorical Analysis of Meghan Daum's "Madonna's Tone-Deaf Tattoo

Topics: Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, The Los Angeles Times Pages: 2 (692 words) Published: December 16, 2012
Cara Brashears
Mrs. Duggan
16 November 2012
Hypocritical Ink
Celebrities often perform charitable acts in the public eye. Donating cash, participating in cancer walks, wearing activist t-shirts for the paparazzi—all are done with compassionate intention. But when one of these acts appears contradictory, every watching eye turns captious. Meghan Daum spotted the incongruity in pop idol Madonna’s attempted altruism, and voices her reaction in her column “Madonna’s tone-deaf tattoo” (10/18/12) in the Los Angeles Times. The article explains the singer’s ostentatious tattoo of the name Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani advocate for girls’ education who was shot by the Taliban, placed where tramp stamps are notorious. The writer scorns Madonna for her hypocrisy in the act, as Madonna’s booty-shaking persona is a hemisphere away from Malala’s feminist ideals. Through juxtaposition, parenthetical expressions, amplification, and a shift from a satirical to an agitated tone, Daum condemns Madonna for the sanctimony of her action. Daum juxtaposes Malala and Madonna to elucidate Madonna’s hypocrisy. The author notes that Malala is “The first recipient of Pakistan’s National Youth Prize,” (2) in contrast to Madonna, who “superimposed a swastika on the forehead of Marine Le Perr…called President Obama a ‘black Muslim’” (2). Daum further describes Malala, “with her head scarf and her earnest, un-primped face,” (2) versus Madonna, who “constantly plays with the archetypes of female sexual objectification” (2). Once again, Malala “symbolizes that girls can transcend…potentially exploitable sex objects,” (2) while Madonna “doesn’t transcend objectification, she courts it” (2). Malala comes off as positive and uplifting, and Madonna is portrayed as the polar opposite. The nonstop side-by-side comparisons help readers visualize Daum’s denouncement of Madonna. Parenthetical expressions inject Daum’s personal opinion throughout the column. While describing the...
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